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The Power and Allure of Dictators

September 21, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

In the face of populist pressures, many nations around the world are turning to authoritarian leaders whose attachment to the liberal values of democracy, transparency, and human rights is questionable at best or outright denied. What inspires people to prefer the rule of one person over sharing power among many? By what right do individuals assume they speak for everyone? Are there common factors that lead to dictatorships or characterize how they function? To answer these questions, we will review the history and development of “dictators” from the earliest use of the term in ancient Rome to the autocrats in Latin America in the 20th century and today. Since dictators often establish their legitimacy through legal means and then abuse the power consigned to them, we should learn how to recognize them before we’re ruled by them. Join us for this review of despots past and present.


Monday, September 21 at 5:30 pm

Roman Use and Abuse: Republican Dictators from Cincinnatus to Caesar
Richard J. A. Talbert, William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of History

Tuesday, September 22 at 5:30 pm

Napoleon: Sovereignty, Revolution, and the First Nationalist Dictator
Maximilian P. Owre, Teaching Assistant Professor of History and Executive Director, Carolina Public Humanities

Wednesday, September 23 at 5:30 pm

Stalin: Ideology and Terror
Anna Krylova, Associate Professor of History, Duke University

Thursday, September 24 at 5:30 pm

Por la patria: Nationalism and Autocracy in Latin America
Miguel La Serna, Professor of History

Friday, September 25 at 5:30 pm

Why Dictators? The Appeal and Dangers of One-Person Rule
A panel discussion with our speakers


This webinar is a virtual event. Tuition is $40, which includes “admission” to the webinar in real time (with live Q&A) as well as access to the closed-caption recorded talks to watch at your leisure for up to 2 weeks after the event. Registrants will receive instructions for accessing the event online by the morning of September 21.

**Save money (while providing valuable support to CPH) by purchasing a season pass to all 5 fall webinars for only $150 ($125 for GAA members).**


Register here or call us at 919.962.1544.

Online registration closes at midnight the night before the event. For same-day registration, please call our office at 919.962.1544.


Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Tuition is complimentary for any currently teaching, full time K-12 teachers. If you’re eligible, click here to register. Complimentary teacher registration closes at 2pm on Friday, September 18, or you may call our office between 9am-5pm on Monday, September 21.


September 21, 2020
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category: